Parents: Frequently Asked Questions


Is the UO too large? Would my son or daughter be better off at a small school?
But aren't individuals lost at such a big university?
What does the UO do to help students adjust?
What does the UO do to help freshmen succeed?
Does the UO have services in place to assist students who have disabilities?

Is the UO too large?

The UO is considered mid-sized, with more than 20,000 students, of which more than 16,000 are undergraduates. We are the smallest public university that is a member of the Association of American Universities.

There are some big advantages to choosing an institution the size of the UO. For example, we offer nearly 80 undergraduate majors, more than 300 comprehensive academic programs, and seven libraries with more than 2.6 million books and 18,000 periodicals. Each term, students can choose from more than 1,700 classes and there are more than 200 groups and organizations available, including club and intramural sports. The science laboratories, music and art studios, and technology at the UO are all state of the art. 

Size is often a consideration in choosing a college. That’s why we always recommend visiting the colleges that really interest you. Once you do, you’ll realize that the UO is probably not as large as you thought. Obviously, students should feel comfortable while gaining the most from their college experience, and we feel that the UO is a great place to do just that.

But aren't individuals lost at such a big university?

Not if we can help it. We do everything we can to help students feel at home and learn their way around the campus, starting with IntroDUCKtion and Week of Welcome just before fall classes begin. Your child will meet other new students and start to become familiar with UO's people, places, and resources. 

At the University of Oregon, you'll be part of a community of students and faculty members dedicated to academic excellence and making a difference in the world. You'll be asked, "What mountain do you want to climb?" and "How do you want to bring about positive change in the world?" Whether you want to make an impact in a neighborhood, school, legal system, arts organization, or scientific theory, you'll find the resources and inspiration that you need to succeed.

Classrooms and laboratory facilities are centrally located, and students can walk from any academic building to another in about 10 minutes. Most are only a few minutes apart.

Personal attention, which most students desire, is more a matter of institutional philosophy than of size. That philosophy is a UO tradition, which students discover as they get to know our faculty and advisers. If students take some initiative, adjustment is easy at the UO. Our undergraduate residence halls are staffed with resident assistants, and others to help new students adjust to life in and out of the classroom. Our instructors are very accessible and offer weekly office hours to provide extra help, if needed.

What does the UO do to help students adjust?

The first step is IntroDUCKtion, which takes place in the summer before your student starts in the fall. Students will meet current and new students as well as staff, faculty, and advisers. As students move into the residence halls, they immediately begin activities and meet one another during Week of Welcome, which helps them become even more familiar with their new world. This familiarity is one thing that helps them adjust to the campus and helps them feel at home quickly! 

The student’s resident assistant (RA) is also an excellent source for help in adjusting to college life. Each floor in the residence halls is assigned an RA — a sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student who lives on the floor and serves as a "big brother" or "big sister" to the residents. These are just a few of the ways we help students take advantage of the many opportunities at UO. After all, we too want your son or daughter to be successful.

What does the UO do to help freshmen succeed?

We do a lot. Student adjustment and retention are important to us!
One way we help is through our first-year programs. An example is our Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs), which are designed to help students make an easier adjustment from high school to college. Students in groups of 25, linked by common interests, attend two general education classes together during the fall. These are regular university courses that satisfy graduation requirements and are also open to non-FIG participants at all class levels. The FIG group within these larger classes is linked together through College Connections, a one-credit course typically taught by one of the faculty teaching the two larger classes. Assisting in the course are advanced undergraduates who have demonstrated success in the courses in the FIG. These student mentors serve as teaching assistants to the faculty and arrange out-of-class activities that help new students become better acquainted with each other, the faculty, and campus resources. 

Studies show that students who participate in a FIG achieve greater academic success throughout their first year at the university. In addition to academic benefits, FIGs give new students the opportunity to make friends quickly and meet potential study partners. FIG students participate in social events, both with their fellow FIG members and other new students, and form friendships that may last throughout their college careers.

Another way we help freshmen succeed is with the University Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), which provides free tutoring, writing and math labs that offer assistance to students who need help with assignments, as well as courses that are designed to help maximize quality and confidence in your student’s academic work.

As you can see, the UO strives to help connect students with each other as well as to the many academic, social, and cultural opportunities available on campus. From academic support to leadership experience to part-time jobs, we can help your student find a niche. It's our belief that the more connected students feel, the better their college experience will be!

Does the UO have services in place to assist students with disabilities?

The UO has a wide variety of support services, accommodations, and equipment to enable students with learning or physical disabilities to participate in and benefit from all of the university's programs and activities. This includes accessible van transportation, tutoring, interpreters for the deaf, mobility training, test accommodations, and adaptive computer technology. For more information, contact the Office of Disability Services for Students.